OSU Extension Blogs

NWREC Public Farm Tours

Small Farms Events - 6 hours 14 min ago
Friday, October 28, 2016 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Last tours of the year are on Friday September 23rd and October 28th.

North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC)
will provide two-hour afternoon farm tours. Anyone interested in seeing the latest research and education activities taking place at the farm are encouraged to attend.

  •  Tours begin at 2:00pm and conclude by 4:00pm. Bring friends, family or neighbors.
  • Call 503-678-1264 or stop by the Main office from 8:00am until 4:30pm daily to reserve your spot.
  • Alltours are provided free of charge as a public service.

Larger groups (up to 24) can be accommodated, too. Call ahead to schedule a convenient time.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs


Small Farms Events - 6 hours 14 min ago
Saturday, October 1, 2016 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM



This annual event is sponsored by the Rogue Valley Dairy Goat Association. Both Beginner and Advanced workshop tracts are offered. Topics include Goats 101, diseases, parasites, genetics, poisonous plants toxic to goats and other livestock, building a milk stand (complete construction; completed unit will be raffled at this event). A separate cheese-making class taught by Alex Appleman runs from 12:45 to 4 pm for an additional $50 (replacing two afternoon class choices). 



Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Vegetable Insect IPM Series - Carrot rust fly, Cabbage maggot, &Cabbage Moths

Small Farms Events - 6 hours 14 min ago
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Are you interested in learning more about managing vegetable insect pests on your farm?

Workshop will be held at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center 

Pleae visit: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/vegetable-insect-ipm-series-aurora for registration information and the workshop agenda

This workshop will cover prevention, avoidance, monitoring and suppression of carrot rust fly, cabbage maggot and cabbage moths. There will also be a tour and discussion on farmscaping for beneficials. 

Participants will receive a hand lens, handouts, and a SARE thumb drive loaded with IPM resources.

Instructors include Nick Andrews, Heather Stoven, Heidi Noordijk; OSU Extension,
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

NWREC Public Farm Tours

Small Farms Events - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 2:35pm
Friday, September 23, 2016 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Last tours of the year are on Friday September 23rd and October 28th.

North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC)
will provide two-hour afternoon farm tours. Anyone interested in seeing the latest research and education activities taking place at the farm are encouraged to attend.

  •  Tours begin at 2:00pm and conclude by 4:00pm. Bring friends, family or neighbors.
  • Call 503-678-1264 or stop by the Main office from 8:00am until 4:30pm daily to reserve your spot.
  • Alltours are provided free of charge as a public service.

Larger groups (up to 24) can be accommodated, too. Call ahead to schedule a convenient time.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Poultry In Motion

Small Farms Events - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 2:53pm
Monday, September 19, 2016 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Logan Miller, Grange Co-op, will present a comprehensive class regarding poultry care from egg to crock pot. She will discuss nutrition, rearing, basic medical and homeopathy principles, and gardening for and with your backyard flock. The slide show and open format is suitable for all ages.


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Small Farm School

Small Farms Events - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 2:35pm
Thursday, September 15, 2016 (all day event)

Small Farm School is a full day of hands-on and classroom workshops for beginning commercial farmers and rural land owners.
Topics for 2016 include hazlenut production, pollinator health and habitat, goat management, soil and pasture care, fencing for grazing,  business classes and many others.

Registration opens on July 12, 2016

Visit the Small Farm School Website for more information.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Decisions. Decisions.

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 1:24pm

How do we make decisions when we think none of the choices are good?  

(Thank you for this thought, Plexus Institute.)

No, I’m not talking about the current political situation in the US. I’m talking about evaluation.

The lead for this email post was “Fixing the frame alters more than the view“.

Art Markman makes this comment (the “how do we make decisions…” comment) here. He says “If you dislike every choice you’ve got, you’ll look for one to reject rather than one to prefer—subtle difference, big consequences.” He based this opinion on research, saying that the rejection mind-set allows us to focus on negative information about options and fixate on the one with the smallest downside.

Rejection mind-set

Evaluation is one area where the evaluator must often choose between the lesser of two evils.

For example, suppose you (the evaluator) gets asked to “retrofit” an evaluation on a program; that retrofit is a happiness questionnaire (you know, how satisfied are the participants with the program delivery).

Now y’all know that the evaluator needs to be included in the planning stages of the program.

Y’all also know that measuring the satisfaction of the participants doesn’t tell you much (if anything).

It certainly doesn’t tell you if a difference was made in learning, behavior, and/or conditions. So what do you do?

Lesser of two options

So what do you do?

Read the research.

Identify the options (even though they are less than desirable).

Make a choice.

See if you can change the frame. See what difference you can make.


The choice I made in the above situation was to change the frame.

I offered a post then pre approach. This avoids happiness questionnaires (or can). And it can offer a difference made in learning, even if retrofitted. It has the smallest downside.

I don’t like to retrofit an evaluation; sometimes it is the lesser of two evils.

Doing what we can

As Stake says, “We promise more than we can really do.”  As evaluators, we continue to do and in the process improve our programs, policies, and organizations. (thank you M. Justin Miller and Tiffany Smith for these wise words).

my .



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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

CROP UP DINNER & Market Showcase

Small Farms Events - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 2:35pm
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The event has two main components– a market event beginning at 5:30 pm and a dinner. The market event is simply a mini-farmers’ market with local growers offering part of their harvest and interacting with guests and buyers. Local food companies will also be on hand. ODA and OSU will have educational booths providing handouts and other materials promoting Oregon specialty crops. After the interactions, conversations, and education, it will be time to sit down for a fun and delicious dinner.

Admission is $20 per person. There are 100 tickets available per event. Each ticket provides access to the farmers’ market showcase as well as the full dinner and entertainment for the evening.

Information and Registration:

Call to Purchase Tickets: Catherine at the Food Innovation Center (503) 872-6680

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs


Small Farms Events - Thu, 09/08/2016 - 2:35pm
Thursday, September 8, 2016 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

With winter comes MUD! Learn about mud and manure management, all-weather surface construction, horse health issues, pasture and
grazing management, and more. Although the focus is on horses, much of the information is applicable to a variety of livestock species. Instructors: Angie Boudro, Paul DiMaggio and Clint Nichols. Youth, 12-18 years old are welcome.


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Vegetable Variety Field Day

Small Farms Events - Thu, 09/08/2016 - 2:35pm
Thursday, September 8, 2016 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Join us for an afternoon of field tours, tasting tables and discussions with Extension agents, farmers and seed companies.

Over 15 crops with multiple varieties of vegetables are growing at the NWREC Learning Farm. Come see what varieties work for your farm. 

More information: Website and to RSVP: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/nwrec-2016-vegetable-variety-field-day-aurora

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

What to do about those drought-damaged trees?

Tree Topics - Wed, 09/07/2016 - 2:35pm

By Amy Grotta and Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension

Group mortality of Douglas-fir in May 2015. Douglas-fir beetle was found in all these trees. Photo Kara Shaw

We have certainly experienced some significant drought conditions lately.  Stressed and dying trees are showing up all around the Willamette Valley, with concern that this could lead to beetle outbreaks and still more trees killed.  Is it time to throw in the towel, cut your losses (so to speak) and just salvage everything that is looking poorly?  Maybe, maybe not.  The decision needs to be considered carefully, weighing individual sites and stand conditions along with your objectives for your property.  Anybody considering a salvage harvest needs to look before they leap.

As we’ve discussed several times over the past few years, 2013-2015 were hard drought years and we continue to see the cumulative effects on our trees. Many trees, conifers in particular, have dead tops or have died outright.  Since drought symptoms typically take a season or two to be expressed, what showed up this year is a result of damage from 2015.  So far 2016 is proving to be a more normal year, though it remains to be seen how the fall and winter will play out.  If we continue to get decent rainfall then we should start to see new damage taper off, but it’s too early to tell.

Beetles are a concern and both Extension and ODF have been getting plenty of calls about this.   Yes, bark beetles have been more active in the Valley this year in drought-stressed stands.  We expect this since beetles make their living off of dying trees, and are often seen more as a symptom than a cause of problems.  Having drought stressed trees does not automatically mean bark beetles will come find them.  And there are several types of bark beetles, some more damaging than others.

Reddish frass in bark crevices is a sign of Douglas-fir beetle. Photo: B. Withrow-Robinson

That said, if you have trees that suffered partial damage a year or two ago, and then died completely this year, it is worth taking a closer look on these and surrounding live trees for signs and symptoms of bark beetles such as pitch streams, frass, and fading crowns on live trees. Fact sheets from the Oregon Department of Forestry on the Douglas-fir beetle and the fir engraver will help you.  If you see something of concern you can contact the ODF Forest Health experts or your OSU Extension Agent for help (for backyard trees, call a certified arborist).  Where there are significant numbers of beetles, landowners will be looking to sanitize their stands by removing infested trees before new adults emerge next spring.

This is where you want to exercise caution and be wary of door knockers.

Regrettably there is a history of shady operators approaching landowners telling them one story or another about their trees dying or markets disappearing and encouraging them to harvest trees “before it is too late”.  It is invariably tied to an offer to take care of the problem for them.  Unfortunately, the landscape is littered with stories of folks who have accepted those offers and sold off some timber they had not otherwise intended to sell, often for much less than it was worth.

We are aware of a number of small woodland owners in the Valley having received unsolicited offers to buy their timber as a way to mitigate drought damage. The “buyers” warn of all the trees damaged by drought being killed by beetles and being lost unless harvested, and encouraging people to sell and get some value before everything dies.

Unsolicited offers to buy timber are nothing new to small woodland owners, and we always advise to be wary of them.  But this seems like a time to be particularly cautious.

An unsolicited buyer offering to assess the health of your trees for you is a clear conflict of interest and a definite red flag.  One outcome could be the buyer exaggerating the potential for future loss, thereby convincing you to sell healthy trees you had no intention to log or to accept a lower price for the timber than you’d like (claiming that it’s “better than nothing”).  Have a third party help you evaluate damage and if you think you want to proceed with salvage or sanitation harvest, move ahead as recommended with any harvest and seek bids from different operators.

You should realize that nobody knows the fate of these trees with any certainty.  Drought conditions may be winding down, or may stick around for a while yet.   Both choices – wait and see or do some preemptive salvage – involve risks that you need weigh.  Don’t be driven by speculative claims about the trees dying, and do not panic.  One or two beetle-killed trees in a stand is not an uncommon event and not a certain epidemic in the making.  The decision to salvage needs to be well-timed and well-planned.  Starting the job and then not finishing before beetles emerge in spring, or not properly dealing with slash, can make matters worse instead of better.  Applying pheromone caps is another option to protect healthy trees if beetle-infested material cannot be removed in a timely manner.

So, suppose that you’ve done your homework and decide that salvaging drought-damaged or insect-damaged trees is in your best interest and meets your property objectives.  You still have some due diligence to take care of.  Get bids and ask the logger for references, go see his past jobs and talk with people who worked with him.  Contact ODF to find out if there are any past violations, or the Association of Oregon Loggers for information on their credentials.  Finally, insist on a written contract.  Consult these publications for more guidance: Small Scale Harvesting for Woodland Owners and Contracts for Woodland Owners.

A final note, landowners in Linn, Benton and Lane Counties can sign up receive Emergency Forest Restoration Funds to remove drought-killed trees through the Farm Services Agency.  More info here (scroll down).  Folks in the northern Valley counties can get in touch with their local FSA to check on the availability of funds.

The post What to do about those drought-damaged trees? appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Land Steward Training Program

Small Farms Events - Wed, 09/07/2016 - 2:35pm
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Open for Registration!

2016 Land Steward Program
September 7th – November 16

 The Land Stewards Program helps local small-acreage landowners learn about ways to create a healthy environment on their property through weekly site visits, presentations from natural resource professionals, and the creation of a personalized management plan. The course serves land owners who want to learn how to balance sustainability with their rural lifestyles.

The 11-week training course provides training for Southern Oregon residents on topics such as wildfire risk reduction, woodland and forest management, encouraging (and controlling) wildlife, stream ecology, pasture management, soils and organic waste, small acreage systems and infrastructure, economics and enterprise on your land, stewardship planning and much more!

Weekly classes meet at the OSU Extension auditorium, at 569 Hanley Road in Central Point on Wednesday afternoons, September 7th – November 16; 12:00-5:00pm. For information email Rachel.werling@oregonstate.edu.

DRAFT 2016 SCHEDULE ( coming soon!)


Registration is not complete until both payment and application are received.  Application can be emailed or snail mailed. 

Early Bird Registration: Applications and payment received BY August 9th save $50.    $150 per person    $225 for couples

Regular registration DEADLINE AUGUST 16th (application and payment)    $200 per person
$275 couples.

Registration information: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec/land-steward-program






Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Making a difference? (one more time…)

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 09/07/2016 - 1:05pm
Making a difference

I wrote a blog about making a difference. Many people have read the original post, recently. And there have been many comments about it and the follow-up posts. Most people have made supportive comments. For example:

  1. “I think you’re on the right track – being consistent about adding fresh content and trying to make it meaningful for your audience.”–Kevin;
  2. “Mr. Schaefer is taking stock of his blog–a good thing to do for a blog that has been posted for a while. So although he lists four innovations, he asks the reader to “…be the judge if it made a difference in your life, your outlook, and your business.”– Ưu điểm của máy lọc nước nano;
  3. “Yes, your posts were made sense and a difference. If you think that your doing able to help others, keep going and do the best.”– Samin Sadat;
  4. “Its refreshing to see an academic even pose the question “does this blog make a difference’. Success for You.”– Raizaldi; and
  5. “You are getting the comments and that eventually means that yes this blog is making a difference out there. Keep the good work up.”– Himanshu.
Less than a supportive comment

Some people have made a less than supportive comment. For example:

  1. Wow this pretty outdated by 2016 standards..any updates to the post?–Dan Tanduro (admittedly, this comment refers to a post I did not link above although linked here); and
Some other comments

Some people have made comments that do not relate to content yet are relevant. For example:

  1. “Hello, I have some knowledge of blogspot, but you can teach how to make the blog more faster and enough to our visits. I Think WordPress is better than blogspot, but is only my opinion…”– John Smith; and
  2.  “It’s interesting how careers cross paths, while I am not directly connected to the world of qualitative research, I have found myself trying to understand and integrate it into my daily workload more and more.” –Steinway

Making a difference. I will keep writing.  Making a difference needs to be measured. I keep in mind that stories (comments) are data with soul.

Less than a supportive comment. What is outdated? I need specific comments to which to respond, please. Also, the post to which is being referred is from April, 2012…over four years ago.

Some other comments. I can’t teach how to blog faster for I know nothing about blogspot.  I only know a little about WordPress. Stories are data with a soul–important to remember when dealing with qualitative data.

my .




The post Making a difference? (one more time…) appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Living evaluators…

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 08/31/2016 - 2:42pm

AEA365 is honoring living evaluators for Labor Day (Monday, September 5, 2016).

Some of the living evaluators I know (Jim Altschuld, Tom Chapel, Michael Patton, Karen Kirkhart, Mel Mark, Lois-Ellin Datta, Bob Stake); Some of them I don’t know (Norma Martinez-Rubin, Nora F. Murphy, Ruth P. Saunders, Art Hernandez, Debra Joy Perez). One I’m not sure of at all (Mariana Enriquez).  Over the next two weeks, AEA365 is hosting a recognition of living evaluator luminaries.

The wonderful thing is that this give me an opportunity to check out those I don’t know; to read about how others see them, what makes them special. I know that the relationships that develop over the years are dear, very dear.

I also know that the contributions that  these folks have made to evaluation cannot be captured in 450 words (although we try). They are living giants, legends if you will.

These living evaluators have helped move the field to where it is today. Documenting their contributions to evaluation enriches the field. We remember them fondly.

If you don’t know them, look for them at AEA ’16 in Atlanta . Check out their professional development sessions or their other contributions (paper, poster, round-table, books, etc). Many of them have been significant contributors to AEA; some have only been with AEA since the early part of this century. All have made a meaningful contribution to AEA.

Many evaluators could be mentioned and are not. Sheila B. Robinson suggests that “…we recognize that many, many evaluators could and should be honored as well as the 13 we feature this time, and we hope to offer another invitation next year for those who would like to contribute a post, so look for that around this time next year, and sign up!

Evaluators honored


James W. Altschuld            Thomas J. Chapel


Norma Martinez-Rubin            Michael Quinn Patton



Nora F. Murphy                                     Ruth P. Saunders



Art Hernandez                          Karen Kirkhart


Mel Mark                                       Lois-Ellin Datta


Debra Joy Perez                           Bob Stake

Mariana Enriquez (Photo not known/found)

my .


The post Living evaluators… appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Sikuliak 2016: The Dynamic Arctic

Terra - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 4:12am
An introduction to the research

In September, two teams are doing separate but related scientific work in the Arctic Ocean aboard the research vessel (R/V) Sikuliaq. The following is an overview of their proposed research and what they expect to find.

Laurie Juranek leads a team of 11 scientists from Oregon State University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS). She and her colleagues are investigating how Arctic sea-ice change is affecting the region’s chemistry and ecology.

Arctic-ice loss due to climate change is no scientific secret. The plight of polar bears and higher surface temperatures from lower albedo – an indication of how well a surface reflects solar energy – are relatively well known consequences. (Note: we’re talking about sea-ice loss here, which doesn’t cause sea-level rise, because the ice displaces the same amount of water as the corresponding melt. The loss of ice on land in the Arctic is part of what makes low-lying nations like the Marshall Islands vulnerable).

But what isn’t as well known is that less sea ice means more food in the form of phytoplankton, the tiny marine plants upon which all other life in the ocean depends. And not just more food, but more of it later in the Arctic season.

Maybe. We don’t really know for sure. That’s why there are research cruises.

Phytoplankton are like any other plants in that they need two things to survive: sunlight and nutrients. With markedly less sea ice, more sunlight is getting through to the newly exposed water and the phytoplankton beneath the surface. More sunlight – more phytoplankton.

The other half of the equation – nutrients – comes from more frequent and more intense storms. This increased storm activity has been going on in the Arctic for decades. Storms mix everything up, bringing nitrogen, carbon dioxide and the other energy sources phytoplankton need to the surface. The decrease in ice plays a role here too – with less ice, storms are able to have more of a mixing effect since they’re not as encumbered by physical boundaries. So, generally, more storms – more phytoplankton.

(Storms actually reduce the amount of sunlight getting through to the water and the phytoplankton, temporarily making it harder for plants to grow. But when things have settled down after storms, the effect is net positive for marine plant growth.)

The fact that sunlight and nutrients create more productive conditions for phytoplankton alone isn’t novel. But the idea that it may be happening later in the season is. This timing is crucial because over the course of millennia, ecology has become well attuned to the changing of seasons and all that comes with it.

Juranek likens this system to a grocery store. Normally, by late summer, most of the phytoplankton are gone; the shelves are bare. But as open water, sunlight and storms increase late in the season, the grocery store of phytoplankton is open longer. The shoppers include everything that eats phytoplankton, from zooplankton (tiny marine animals) to mollusks (oysters, clams, and mussels) to whales. But since the amount and location of phytoplankton isn’t consistent throughout the Arctic, not all shoppers get the same access to food. And that can have disastrous or life-saving consequences depending on your place in the food web.

Illustration: Moore and Stabeno (2015)

Not every animal in the Arctic eats phytoplankton, but if they don’t eat it, they depend on another animal that does. Walruses, for example, don’t have phytoplankton for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but they do depend on shellfish for all of the above. Filter feeders like oysters and clams need phytoplankton, and so the walrus needs phytoplankton.

It isn’t enough to know that phytoplankton are there, where they are, or how many of them exist; we need to know how they’re living. This is done by measuring rates of primary productivity, essentially how much food the phytoplankton grocers are putting on the shelves.

Phytoplankton can be likened to the trees that help us breathe – both create carbohydrates and oxygen as a result of photosynthesis. But unlike massive and long-living trees, phytoplankton are microscopic and have a lifespan of days. There’s much more turnover.

How much turnover is there? How much nitrogen, carbon, silica and other nutrients are they using to grow? And how does the rest of the community respond? What is the net production when the whole community has eaten its fill? This is what the Oregon State team is trying to find out.

How to do this? One way is to measure oxygen. The oxygen phytoplankton produce has a unique chemical signature of isotopes (the same element but different sized nuclei). The team will look at how much of these isotopes are in the water and so infer how much phytoplankton are producing.

This is somewhat of a novel technique. Many studies of primary productivity focus on the presence of chlorophyll, the distinguishing green pigment of algae and plants. But although chlorophyll can give a great picture of phytoplankton activity, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Chlorophyll means plants are present, but more chlorophyll doesn’t necessarily mean more activity. More oxygen is a better indicator.

Oxygen isn’t the only thing being used to determine primary productivity. The Oregon State team can also measure the amount of nitrogen and carbon in the water to get a better picture of what the phytoplankton and rest of the community are doing.

Juranek has good reason to think there’s more phytoplankton activity, because this won’t be the first time she’s seen it. The prediction is based on prior data from an Arctic research cruise she took in 2011 and 2012. But those data are among the few that can help scientists get a picture of what’s happening late in the season. The dataset collected on this cruise will be the biggest and most detailed yet, thanks in large part to a little sled (which I’ve not yet had the honor of meeting but have decided to name Rosebud). The sled will be towed along the back of the ship and take continuous measurements of nutrients, carbon, and optical properties of the water that will be sent back to the ship’s lab – via cable – for analysis.

Rosebud being deployed on the R/V Oceanus in 2012. On the R/V Sikuliaq, the yellow cable will be used to transmit water to the lab on the ship.

These measurements are done in just a few seconds. This is unlike what’s usually done: the “bottle” technique, where bottles of water are essentially pulled up from different depths and analyzed on the ship before being sent down again. With that method, you can get a few hundred measurements in a month. On this trip, the team will probably get 20,000 measurements in the same amount of time.

This improved database will help confirm or contradict the team’s prediction: There are substantial pockets of primary productivity later in the Arctic season than previously thought.

Carbon Too

If we did one of those word maps that show which words were used most in the preceding paragraphs, “phytoplankton” would probably loom large above the rest. This research isn’t just about phytoplankton. But it is a big, central part, so we’ll start here. Carbon cycling, your time will come soon enough.

As of today, some of the team is aboard the Sikuliaq and making their way through the Unimak Pass from Seward to Nome, Alaska. The rest of the team will join them in Nome on August 31. Then, after a couple more days of set-up, the Sikuliaq will set off in the direction of Barrow, and the scientific adventure begins.

It really began a while ago. Months – and years, if you count the previous cruises that established baseline data – of preparation have gone into making this research expedition a reality. The writing of proposals, completing the NSF review process, collaborating with local communities and organizations like the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, purchasing and prepping gear, assembling a team, and spending lots of money and time in the process. Ship time is valuable, and scientists tend to work long hours to make sure they can get the most out of it. Because you can’t have the same kind of discovery back home in the lab under controlled conditions as you do out at sea. It makes all the prep work worthwhile – no matter what we find, it’ll be a step toward a better understanding of the rapidly changing Arctic.

Coming soon: a brief introduction to the work of the team from the College of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), led by Dr. Rachel Sipler, and more about where we’re going. Stay tuned!

The post Sikuliak 2016: The Dynamic Arctic appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Science Camp 2013 and Erik Fooladi

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Fri, 07/19/2013 - 1:44pm

We participate in the Oregon State U Food Science Camp for middle school students.

Part of the STEM [science technology engineering math] Academies@OSU Camps.

We teach about bread fermentations, yeast converting sugars to CO2 and ethanol, lactobacillus converting sugar to lactic and acetic acids, how the gluten in wheat can form films to trap the gas and  allow the dough to rise. On the way we teach about flour composition, bread ingredients and their chemical functionalities, hydration, the relationships between enzymes and substrates [amylases on starch to produce maltose for the fermentation organisms]; gluten development, the gas laws and CO2′s declining solubility in the aqueous phase during baking which expands the gas bubbles and leads to the oven spring at the beginning of baking; and the effect of pH on Maillard browning using soft pretzels that they get to shape themselves..

All this is illustrated by hands on [in] activities: they experience the hydration and the increasing cohesiveness of the dough as they mix it with their own hands, they see their own hand mixed dough taken through to well-risen bread. They get to experience dough/gluten development in a different context with the pasta extruder, and more and more.

A great way to introduce kids to the relevance of science to their day to day lives: in our case chemistry physics biochemistry and biology in cereal food processing.

We were also fortunate to have Erik Fooladi from Volda University College in Norway to observe the fun: http://www.fooducation.org/

If you have not read his blog and you like what we do here: you should!


endless pasta


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Good Cheese, Bad Cheese

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Wed, 07/10/2013 - 1:25pm

pH, colloidal calcium phosphate, aging, proteolysis, emulsification or its loss and their interactions lead to optimum melting qualities for cheeses. A module in this year’s food systems chemistry class.

This module was informed by this beautiful article “The beauty of milk at high magnification“ by Miloslav Kalab, which is available on the Royal Microscopical Society website.


Of course accompanied by real sourdough wholegrain bread baked in out own research bakery.

Inspired by…

“The Science of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.”

by: Jennifer Kimmel

in: The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking

Edited by Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

February 2011- Nutrition Education Volunteers taking “vacation”

Family Food Educators of Central Oregon - Tue, 02/01/2011 - 9:24am

I’m back from maternity leave and getting resettled into some new responsibilities.  We had a staff member leave us, so Glenda and I are having to pick up the work load until we find someone new, or our responsibilites change.  Being a new mom is lots of work too, so I’ve gone part time (24 hours aweek) but am still trying to get everything done… that being said, we’ve decided to put our nutrition education volunteering on hold, until I have a managable workload.

We look forward to being able to start things back up in the summer or fall of 2011.  Thanks so much and since a few of you have been asking, here’s a photo of our boy.  He is 5 months old today!

Bundled out in the cold!

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs